Product Design Demands Discomfort


Take a careful look at the infographic titled The AHA Moments above.  Ranging from age 19 to 47, these people  have revolutionised how we communicate (Steve Jobs/iPhone), how we re-energize (Dietrich Mateschitz/ RedBull) and even workout (Chip Wilson/Lululemon Yoga Pants).

None of them set out to create a break between the old and new way of doing things. All they wanted to do was solve one particular source of discomfort. They zeroed in on that particular barrier and relentlessly worked to eliminate it.

Product design and system design demand discomfort. If a device or system seems broken, inadequate or even missing – that is your cue!  You do not require anyone’s permission to make a system or device more efficient. I think this is a reminder for myself as much as it is a blog for public consumption. 

“Stop Working Now!”

How I wish someone would have softly whispered that in my ear while I had trudged into the bleak, smoke-filled office as a young intern.  I kept thinking in my early professional life that work was meant to be unrewarding and I must persevere since I am ‘paying my dues’. While there are many ‘passion’ gurus who tempt the cubicle-weary to quit this very instant, there are few that sound authentic and present proof of their own success.

Interior Monologue: I gotta ton of passion but it ain’t gonna pay my rent!

If you have ever felt the same way, might I suggest checking out my friend Momekh’s philosophy of The Pro-Hobbyist. I recently asked Momekh to visit Information Technology University-Punjab (ITU) to share his unique take on the eternal debate of career vs. vocation. He led us through various real-life scenarios where regular folk, like you and I, could smartly convert a hobby such as baking specialty cakes or running a small farm into a source of  (sustainable) income. I am looking forward to the detailed workshop to find out more about Momekh’s take on the going solo-proneur.